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Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,
True to imagined right, above control,
While e'en the peasant boasts these rights to scan,
And learns to venerate himself as man. [here,

Thine, Freedom, thine the blessings pictured
Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear;
Too bless'd indeed were such without alloy,
But foster'd e'en by freedom ills annoy;
That independence Britons prize too high
Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie;
The self-dependent lordlings stand alone,
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown;
Here, by the bonds of nature feebly held,
Minds combat minds, repelling and repell’d;
Ferments arise, imprison’d factions roar,
Repress’d ambition struggles round her shore;
Till, overwrought, the general system feels
Its motions stop, or frenzy fire the wheels.

Nor this the worst. As nature's ties decay, As duty, love, and honour fail to sway, Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law, Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe. Hence all obedience bows to these alone, And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown; Tilltime may come,when, stripp'd of all her charms, TH land of scholars and the nurse of arms, Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame, Where kings have toild and poets wrote for fame, One sink of level avarice shall lie, And scholars, soldiers, kings unhonour'd die.

Yet think not, thus when Freedom's ills I state, I mean to flatter kings, or court the great: Ye

powers of truth, that bid my soul aspire, Far from

my

bosom drive the low desire !

And thou, fair Freedom, taught alike to feel
The rabble's rage and tyrant's angry steel;
Thou transitory flower, alike undone
By proud contempt or favour's fostering sun;
Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure !
I only would repress them to secure;
For just experience tells, in every soil,
That those who think must govern those that toil;
And all that Freedom's highest aims can reach
Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each.
Hence, should one order disproportion'd grow,
Its double weight must ruin all below.

Oh, then how blind to all that truth requires,
Who think it freedom when a part aspires !
Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise to arms,
Except when fast-approaching danger warms:
But when contending chiefs blockade the throne,
Contracting regal power to stretch their own;
When I behold a factious band agree
To call it freedom when themselves are free;
Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw,
Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law;
The wealth of climes, where savage nations roam,
Pillaged from slaves to purchase slaves at home;
Fear, pity, justice, indignation start,
Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart;
Till half a patriot, half a coward grown,
I fly from petty tyrants to the throne.

Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour When first ambition struck at regal power; And thus, polluting honour in its source, Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force. Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore, Her useful sons exchanged for useless ore?

Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste,
Like flaring tapers brightening as they waste;
Seen opulence, her grandeur to maintain,
Lead stern depopulation in her train,
And over fields where scatter'd hamlets rose
In barren solitary pomp repose ?
Have we not seen, at pleasure's lordly call,
The smiling, long-frequented village fall?
Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd,
The modest matron, and the blushing maid,
Forced from their homes, a melancholy train,
To traverse climes beyond the western main;
Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around,
And Niagara stuns with thundering sound?

E’en now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays Through tangled forests and through dangerous

ways; Where beasts with man divided empire claim, And the brown Indian marks with murderous aim; There, while above the giddy tempest flies, And all around distressful yells arise, The pensive exile, bending with his woe, To stop too fearful, and too faint to go, Casts a long look where England's glories shine, And bids his bosom sympathize with mine.

Vain, very vain my weary search to find That bliss which only centres in the mind. Why have I stray'd from pleasure and repose, To seek a good each government bestows? In every government, though terrors reign, Though tyrant kings or tyrant laws restrain, How small, of all that human hearts endure, That part which laws or kings can cause or cure !

Still to ourselves in every place consign'd,
Our own felicity we make or find:
With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
The lifted axe, the agonizing wheel,
Luke's' iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel,
To men remote from power but rarely known,
Leave reason, faith, and conscience, all our own.

In the Respublica Hungarica, there is an account of a desperate rebellion in the year 1514, headed by two brothers, George and Lake Zeck. When it was quelled, George, not Luke, was panished by his head being encircled with a redhot iron crown. Boswell pointed out Goldsmith's mistake.

T

THE

DESERTED VILLAGE.

FIRST PRINTED IN 1769.

TO

SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.

DEAR SIR, I can have no expectations in an address of this kind, either to add to your reputation, or to establish my own. You can gain nothing from my admiration, as I am ignorant of that art in which you are said to excel; and I

may

lose much by the severity of your judgment, as few have a juster taste in poetry

than

you. Setting interest therefore aside, to which I never paid much attention, I must be indulged at present in following my affections. The only dedication I ever made was to my brother, because I loved him better than most other men. He is since dead. Permit me to inscribe this

to

you. How far you may be pleased with the versification and mere mechanical parts of this attempt, I do not pretend to inquire : but I know you will object (and indeed several of our best and wisest friends concur in the opinion) that the depopulation it deplores is nowhere to be seen, and the disorders it laments are only to be found in the poet's own imagination. To this I can scarce make any other answer, than that I sincerely

poem

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